The surveyor uses specialized equipment, such as GPS and leveling instruments, to ensure precise and accurate measurements. These measurements are then compared to the BFE, the elevation that floodwaters are anticipated to reach during a base flood, typically a flood with a 1% annual chance of occurring, also known as the 100-year flood.

An elevation certificate provides valuable data that influences flood insurance premiums. For properties in high-risk flood zones, as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), accurate elevation information can significantly reduce insurance costs if the building’s lowest floor is above the BFE.

Conversely, if the building is below the BFE, insurance rates may be higher to account for the increased flood risk. Therefore, obtaining an elevation certificate can lead to substantial savings and offer peace of mind to property owners.

Influencing insurance rates and elevation certificates is essential for ensuring compliance with local and federal building regulations. In Portland, new constructions and substantial improvements to existing structures in designated flood zones must adhere to strict elevation requirements to minimize flood damage.
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